Questions Arise Over Death Count

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 6

Several reports in the Russian media have suggested another parallel between Friday’s subway bombing and the 2002 Dubrovka tragedy–disinformation about casualties. The official figure, which remained unchanged over the weekend, was thirty-nine deaths. But as the website observed on February 9, several eyewitnesses are convinced that the true figure must be much higher. Only fifty passengers are known to have survived from the subway car in which the bomb exploded; but the number that it was carrying at the height of the morning rush hour must have been at least 200.

A source in the office of Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said that the mayor had a list of names of the dead, but that the FSB had forbidden its publication because it contradicted the official figure of thirty-nine.

According to a February 7 report in Kommersant, a source in a paramedic team said that emergency personnel had found at least sixty bodies, plus fragments of at least another sixty dead. Sergei Mikhalych of Novaya gazeta wrote in a February 9 article that an anonymous paramedic estimated that, from the numbers of bags that his team had filled with body parts, the dead must number about 120.